Monday, January 17, 2022

The Book of Boba Fett’s first chapter has a lot of blank pages

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The Book of Boba Fett lastly is giving its titular character the highlight.

The fan-favorite bounty hunter has lengthy lurked within the margins of Star Wars’ historical past: his transient introduction in an animated brief throughout the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special; and his rocketing to recognition because of his iconic armor (virtually designed to promote motion figures) regardless of his transient appearances in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, his shoehorned backstory in Attack of the Clones, and a half-baked arc in The Clone Wars. For all that, Fett himself has been an enigma, a blank slate of badassery that’s by no means been stuffed in.

But after years of rumors of a solo movie, an aborted historical past within the (since excised from canon) Expanded Universe books, and a shock resurrection within the second season of The Mandalorian, Boba Fett is lastly taking heart stage in his personal spinoff sequence, The Book of Boba Fett. It has the potential to be an fascinating have a look at a new nook of the Star Wars universe past the titular interstellar battles for galactic supremacy or the machinations of the Jedi and the Sith — however proper now, there are nonetheless a lot of blank pages that the present doesn’t appear to be in any rush to fill in.

Warning: Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett, episode one forward

Image: Francois Duhamel / Lucasfilm Ltd

A Boba Fett present as soon as appeared like the kind of factor that will virtually write itself. A bounty hunter, clinging to his sense of honor and distinctive ethical code as he takes on odd jobs searching the galaxy’s most wished criminals and getting tangled within the wider machinations of the Empire and the New Republic alike — it looks like the right pitch for a Star Wars TV sequence. The drawback, of course, is that Lucasfilm already made that present: it’s referred to as The Mandalorian, and it starred a totally different armored Mandalorian hero that very a lot isn’t Boba Fett.

So the place does that depart the unique masked bounty hunter in his personal sequence? Well, as The Book of Boba Fett’s first episode exhibits, someplace previous and someplace new.

The present begins by filling in some of the gaps in historical past between when followers final noticed Fett (Temuera Morrison) disappearing into the mouth of the almighty sarlacc dwelling within the Great Pit of Carkoon, discovering “a new definition of pain and suffering” as he “was slowly digested over a thousand years,” and his return in The Mandalorian (set 5 years after Return of the Jedi). We see how he escaped (an virtually pedestrian mixture of sturdy Mandalorian armor and his wrist-mounted flame thrower), how he misplaced his armor (Jawas), and his seize and adoption by the enigmatic Tuskens.

It then jumps forward to after The Mandalorain’s second season post-credit scene: when Fett and his associate, the murderer Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), kill Jabba’s former majordomo, Bib Fortuna, and lay declare to the notorious Hutt’s crime empire.

Barring a Baby Yoda-level twist within the coming weeks, The Book of Boba Fett looks like it’ll be spending the subsequent six episodes telling each of these tales: filling in his lacking years with the Tuskans (as a result of if there’s one factor Star Wars hates, its leaving actually any piece of backstory unexplained) and his rise as a new type of energy in Tatooine’s political and legal world, like a sci-fi model of The Wire with the sides sanded off to be extra household pleasant.

Fett continues to be a man of few phrases — the episode goes a good ten minutes earlier than a single line of dialogue is spoken — however he’s decided to attempt to run issues otherwise in Mos Espa than Jabba did. “Jabba ruled through fear; I intend to rule through respect,” he growls, eschewing Jabba’s behavior for elaborate litters carried by way of the road and attending conferences in particular person slightly than sending minions.

The drawback is that Fett is nearly charmingly unhealthy at being a crime lord. He and Shand are totally unable to grasp a visiting vassal; he will get proven up by the mayor, whose unctuous lackey calls for that Fett pay tribute as an alternative; and he will get ambushed virtually instantly on his first go to to Mos Espa. If Boba goes to fill Jabba’s metaphorical boots (I’m assuming Hutts don’t put on sneakers), he’s going to wish to get higher at this, quick.

But The Book of Boba Fett additionally has a a lot larger job than a new crime empire or some expository backstory: filling in Fett’s conspicuously lacking character and motivations. Right now, the present’s ostensible hero continues to be a blank slate. Despite appearances in two movies and a couple of episode of The Mandalorian, his most defining second continues to be a decades-old warning from Darth Vader that disintegrations are off the menu for his chase of Han Solo.

Image: Francois Duhamel / Lucasfilm Ltd

What is Boba Fett truly doing right here? Tatooine isn’t a notably enjoyable place to stay. (As Luke Skywalker as soon as described it, “If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.”) Why does Fett, the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter, wish to fill Jabba’s sneakers and be a mob boss on a backwater desert? Is it simply concerning the cash? A cozier retirement plan than chasing down ne’er-do-wells? Some (already hinted at) pity for the poor moisture farmers struggling underneath Jabba’s empire’s boot?

In brief, The Book of Boba Fett wants to indicate us what Boba truly cares about, aside from trying like a badass (which, admittedly, he does very effectively).

Boba Fett has had a fame for many years as one of Star Wars’ coolest-looking characters. But if The Book of Boba Fett goes to succeed, it must do greater than speak the speak: it’s time for Fett to stroll the stroll of the towering fame that he supposedly has and allow us to study extra concerning the man contained in the armor.

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